John Christodoulou, Founder of the Yianis Christodoulou Foundation, philanthropist and successful Cypriot entrepreneur was the keynote speaker at the ‘4th Diplomat of the Year Award’ ceremony held at the Presidential Palace in recognition of the role of the Foreign Diplomatic Missions accredited to Cyprus. The ceremony was organised by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) and was under the High Patronage of Mr Ioannis Kasoulides, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus. The prestigious ceremony was attended by Annita Demetriou President of the House of Representatives, as well as other stakeholders from the political, diplomatic and business sector, such as Michael Hatzipantelas, Minister of Health, Kornelios Korneliou, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and many others.

As Christodoulos Angastiniotis, President of CCCI stated in this opening speech, the purpose of the ceremony was to elect the Diplomat of Cyprus in 2022. This year’s ‘Diplomat of the year’ was voted to be Mr Waleed Ahmad Al-Kandari, Ambassador of Kuwait in Cyprus. Mr Waleed Ahmad Al-Kandari has been chosen exclusively by the Diplomatic Corps in recognition of his outstanding work and achievements for promoting the economic diplomacy, for contributing to strengthening bilateral business relations with Cyprus and for his popularity and community engagement.

Mr John Christodoulou, thanked the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the invitation and the honour to be the keynote speaker at the Cyprus Diplomat of the Year Award 2022. During his speech Mr Christodoulou shared with the distinguished guests his personal story starting from the time that he and his family had to flee Cyprus after the Turkish invasion, as well as the beginning of his business career that led to the development of the Yianis Group of Companies. He presented the ingredients for his successful career in the real estate sector and explained how the lessons learnt assisted the expansion of his business. While expressing his happiness to be back to Cyprus, his homeland, and to be in a position to offer his expertise and experience, not only for the development of the business sector in Cyprus, but also for the resolution of the Cyprus problem, Mr Christodoulou encouraged all diplomats to contribute towards finding a solution, as time is not on Cyprus’ side.

During his speech he made a special reference to his charitable work and the Yianis Christodoulou Foundation, which he considers one of the biggest achievements of his life. He stressed during his speech, the importance of giving back to the community in order to move forward, explaining how the YIANIS CHRISTODOULOU FOUNDATION (YCF) supports the children in need through the implementation of various projects.

Mr Christodoulou the Founder of the Yianis Christodoulou Foundation has been well acknowledged for his charitable work, worldwide, but more evidently in his homeland Cyprus. Through his foundation, Mr Christodoulou is able to support children in need. The choice of the funded projects ties with the YCF Mission, which is to offer support and assistance to the many schools and communities that need to upgrade their teaching and learning facilities, for the benefit of the children. In the founder’s own words, “helping and empowering children is the main priority of the Yianis Christodoulou Foundation, as our future depends on them”

Glen Bowtell